There’s great news for Christchurch residents with the announcement that BCP Council is part funding an extension of the bike share scheme there.
Beryl Bikes has been awarded the contract following a competitive tender process and will deliver the service on behalf of BCP Council. 275 brand new bikes will be provided and will be available for instant hire via the innovative ‘Beryl app’.
Expansion of bike share into Christchurch is a local funding commitment of BCP and Dorset Council’s successful Transforming Cities Fund bid. This secured £79 million of Government funding to deliver a package of measures to support sustainable transport. Five new cycle freeways will be provided with segregated cycle lanes over the next three years and the expansion of the bike share scheme directly compliments this.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Infrastructure at BCP Council, said: “With a new government strategy prioritising walking and cycling, Beryl Bikes have proved incredibly popular since they launched here. They’re a great way to get about, without having to own a bike yourself. The extension into Christchurch follows the highly successful bike share in Bournemouth and Poole, where demand has far exceeded expectations, as well as locals telling us they wanted to see Beryl Bikes in Christchurch.”
Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, Councillor Ray Bryan, said: “These additional Beryl Bikes add to our complement of local sustainable transport options for people, as well as being another tool to help us tackle air quality - at the heart of both our climate emergency ambitions, and one of the Transforming Cities Fund goals.”
Philip Ellis, Beryl CEO and Co-Founder said: “We’ve been delighted to offer an affordable and flexible bike share system in Bournemouth and Poole, which has proved successful. So, we are really pleased to be now expanding this to Christchurch. This expansion is part of building an integrated, green and sustainable transport network in the area; this is more important than ever so we can't wait to get started and offer our service to those who live, work and visit Christchurch.”
Whilst the Bournemouth and Poole service were provided commercially (i.e. at no cost to the council) the Christchurch extension is being matched funded through BCP’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) contributions. BCP’s initial investment is £450k to kick-start the scheme, Beryl will be matching this funding, and then some over the initial three-and-a-half-year contract.
The BCP scheme is now the second largest bike share in the country (after London) and surveys have shown that 20% of journeys now taken by Beryl Bike would have otherwise been made by car. The scheme is therefore directly contributing to reducing both congestion and carbon emissions in line with BCP Council’s declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency in March 2019.
The distinctive green Beryl Bikes have proved popular with residents - their step-through design with fully adjustable handlebars and comfortable seats make riding a pleasure for a wide range of riders from 4’11” to 6’5”. All bikes have lights front and rear, a handy space for bags plus three speed gears.
The bikes are easily found and unlocked using the Beryl app. The app shows the location of the Beryl bays, the preferred parking locations to leave the bikes. An additional 50 of these will be provided in Christchurch at key destinations such as the Christchurch and Hinton Admiral railway stations, Christchurch Hospital and Bournemouth Airport, including the business park, and at key retail centres and residential areas.
The scheme is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing users to park the bikes elsewhere for an additional £2 convenience fee, provided they are safely within the scheme area.
Find out more about Beryl Bikes.